When I first got to New Zealand, I called all the tall, frilly grasses 'pampas grass' since that's all I ever heard them called. Then I learned that the Maori called it 'toetoe' (pronounced toy-toy) and called it that.
Then I wondered if there was a difference and that's when the headaches began.
Of course, there's a difference. According to Trees for Survival,
'Do not confuse Toetoe with the introduced species of pampas grass, which is a troublesome weed in many places. Our native toetoe grasses flower in spring and summer, while the pampas flowers in the autumn. Pampas also has tightly curled dead leaves at its base, and the leaves snap readily when given a sharp tug (toetoe leaves do not). '
I don't notice the season when I'm taking pictures and I don't remember to look at the leaves, much less tug one on to see if it snaps readily. I just like the way they look when I see them on the side of the road.
The shot below was literally taken on the side of the road, far far from any human habitat, that I could see. According to the articles I have read, it must be pampas, but it's anyone's guess how it got there.
The next two pictures were taken at a historical Maori site, Turuturu Mokai, so I do wonder why it would have pampas instead of toetoe. Is it any wonder I'm confused?